Big Brothers Big Sisters of the 7 Rivers Region has been bringing life-changing mentorships to youth in the region since 1969. BBBS7 started as a program that was run by La Crosse County, Wisconsin until the early 1990s. In 1994, BBBS became an independent agency, BBBS of the Coulee Region, and in 1999, a satellite office was opened in Winona. On January 1st, 2009, BBBS of the Coulee Region officially changed its name to the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the 7 Rivers Region to better reflect the many communities we serve. Today we serve over one hundred children each year in both Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Our Mission: To create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and the promise of youth.
Our Vision: For all youth to achieve their full potential.
Accountability: By partnering with parents/guardians, volunteers, and others in the community we are accountable for:
- Higher aspirations, greater confidence, and better relationships
- Avoidance of risky behaviors
- Educational success
Outcomes: National research has shown that positive relationships between Littles and their Bigs have a direct and measurable impact on children’s lives. By participating in our programs, Little Brothers and Sisters:
- are more confident
- are more likely to steer clear of drugs and alcohol
- do better in school
- get along better with their family and friends
- feel better about themselves
BBBS7 Matches at-risk youth in one-to-one adult mentorships. We conduct extensive background checks and interviews of adult volunteers - Bigs / Big Couples - to assure the safety of the youth. Littles, the youth we serve, and their parent/guardian are also interviewed to form the ideal relationship and the long-term success of the Match. Following the Match, regular Match Support is conducted amongst all three parties on a monthly basis the first year and quarterly thereafter to reinforce Little safety, address challenges, and provide the foundation for the longest possible Match.
Our one-to-one model truly makes an impact in children's lives. National researchers have discovered that after 18 months of spending time with their Bigs, the Littles, compared to those children not in our program, were:
- 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs
- 27% less likely to begin using alcohol
- 52% less likely to skip school
- 37% less likely to skip a class
- 33% less likely to hit someone